Nene Raju Nene Mantri: A riveting political drama
A hard-hitting political film that will make us understand the intricacies of the games of politics and how voters too have a role to play in bad governance
“In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way,” said Franklin D Roosevelt. Teja’s movie comeback movie, Nene Raju Nene Mantri, reflects exactly that. Director Teja has researched politics, the political mindset, hunger for power and money so well that even a politically-ignorant person will be enlightened about the subject after watching his film.
Looks like Tollywood has finally realised that people have become smart and are looking for intelligent content. They no longer look for a run-of-the-mill love story. Teja, who is one of those directors who has managed to give new and fresh content with every film, has now taken his standards a notch higher.
We saw Rana as Bhallaladeva, a power hungry man, in Baahubali. In this film, we again see him as a power monger, but for a different reason. Seems like he is cut out for carrying powerful roles on his shoulders.
Cast: Rana Daggubati, Catherine Tresa, Kajal Aggarwal, Navdeep, Shivraj, Ashutosh Rana
The movie begins with Jogendra (Rana) in the jail at the gallows, set to be hanged. His last wish is to tell his life's story, which he wants to be telecast live to the public. The movie rewinds to the days when Jogendra is a money lender for interest, leading a happy marital life with Radha (Kajal). While Jogendra is savvy with money, Radha is generous and spends her time and money on charity. After three years of marriage, she gets pregnant. She goes to a temple to light lamps oblivious to the fact that the sarpanch’s wife is supposed the light the lamp first. The sarpanch’s wife, an arrogant lady pushes Radha aside and beats her up. The movie's tone changes at this point. Radha gets admitted to the hospital in a critical condition. Jogender is left with two options--save his wife or save his child. He saves his wife. And decides to seek vengeance. His next move is to become the sarpanch and climb up the poltical ladder to become the Chief Minister of the state. How he gets to that seat forms the narrative of the film.
The movie shows the nuances of politics and the dirt floating in it. Teja shows us how money, grudge, power, and fame will overpower all human emotions. The best and most intense scene is one where Jogendra, who jumps into politics and power for his wife's sake, does not mind cheating on her, all for the post.
It is heartening to see how Jogendra adds his wife’s name to his name and proudly calls himself Radha Jogendra. A confession scene between the couple is captured beautifully and realistically.
Rana has proved his mettle again. His every action, emotion, swag and dialogue delivery reminds us that he is inherently talented. Kajal looks her best as a woman with a kind heart. Her work here proves why she has consistenly been counted among the top stars of the industry. Navdeep as Jogendra’s key man and Catherine as a media house heir do justice to their roles. The narration is gripping and enthralling. Venkat’s cinematography captures the power moments well.
The dialogues of the movie, however, stand as the highlight of the movie. As hard-hitting as it gets, Teja provokes us to think and how! Anoop Ruben's music is soothing in numbers like Sukhibhava and Jogendra.